Reflections on My First Week of Unemployment



Now, dear reader, this post will not offer any advice on how to avoid unemployment or how to be successful at finding a new job because lord knows I am no expert on those things (meanwhile, if you want to know how to style coloured stockings that is something I can offer advice on) it is merely a reflection on my current state of joblessness.

Earlier this year I took the risk of leaving my unfulfilling yet permanent day job for a three-month contract in the Australian Public Service. And while I doubled my income, which allowed me to buy lots of lovely things, at the end of the three months I have found myself without a job and on the hunt for another one.

Now, I must admit that I am not completely destitute, my casual job is keeping me going and in a rare moment of financial sensibility I did save some money just for such an occasion, but I have suddenly found myself not earning enough money to pay my mortgage, laybys or credit card.

As someone who often gets a little too emotionally involved in their work, leaving a job has always been difficult for me. Since starting this magazine it has become easier and this time as I approached unemployment, despite my very great concern for my financial situation, I found myself becoming quite excited at the possibility of having more time to focus on Leiden and my personal wellbeing.

So rather than sit around feeling sorry for myself I put together a list of all the things I wanted to achieve during this time and a structure for each day. You can probably tell I’m a bit of a Type A. I’ve been slowly chipping away at my unemployment goals.


  • Applying for New Jobs – I am attempting to apply for a new job every day. I haven’t been living up to my goal yet which has been getting me down a bit, but I am trying.
  • Exercise – I have barely exercised since I started Leiden as I have spent every spare moment I’m not at my day job working on the publication. This was all well and good until I now can’t fit into a few of my clothes. Seeing as I have paid quite a lot of money for them, not being able to fit into them is no longer an option. We all know that ‘exercise gives you endorphins and that endorphins make you happy’ and I have certainly found that working out has helped to keen me from too despondent at my situation.
  • Leiden – It is my dream to one day work on this publication full time and I want to use this time to give me a taste of what that might be like. I also desperately need to catch up on everything I want to do and achieve with the publication. I often feel guilty that I haven’t been able to do all that I wish I could and I worry that I let people down so I am hoping I can use some of this time to get back on track.


I must say that so far I have rather enjoyed my first week of unemployment, which I am not sure is a good thing. I can’t say how I will feel next week, or two weeks from now as my savings start to dwindle, but for the moment I feel optimistic. After all there is nothing like change to make you re-evaluate your life and what is important to you.

Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.


  1. Oh Emma! My heart!
    I’m reading this on my 4th day off in a row (1 more to go!) Although I am not unemployed, I recently resigned my managers role at RM to pursue a new part time contract in the Dept. of Health. (Don’t panic, I’m still going to be at RM casually) But I can definitely relate to becoming emotionally attached to a job. As exciting as this new opportunity is, I am a creature of habit and change is difficult for me.
    However! This week has been tremendous! As my home is clean, my laundry is done, my closet is tidy and I have been to the gym everyday without needing to rush off to work, which has made my days very productive.
    So enjoy your days of freedom! I am sure you deserve them!

    Big love Xx

    • This is such big news! I am really excited for you! Department of Health is going to be so good for you and align with your studies! And I am so glad I will still get to see you at RM sometimes. And yay for a productive week at home, you are a queen! Hopefully see you soon! xxx

  2. Found myself in the same situation at the end of the financial year, except a lot less planned than you in the savings department guh. I loved my job and was good at it. Anyway, exercise is on my to do list too. It has been helping alleviate the stress a bit.

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